They have done it! > 2009 > Indonesia

I chose this work camp because I work with Sex workers in my job here in the UK, and I wanted to see comparisons and differences in approaches of work and delivery of education on HIV/AIDS. I also wanted the opportunity to share good practice of work.

Semarang, Indonesia
November 2006

I chose this work camp because I work with Sex workers in my job here in the UK, and I wanted to see comparisons and differences in approaches of work and delivery of education on HIV/AIDS. I also wanted the opportunity to share good practice of work.

Work included meeting and working with female Sex workers in re-socialisation sessions in Sunan Kuning Prostitution Complex; outreach handing out condoms to sex workers and customers in Sunan Kuning Prostitution Complex; training sessions on HIV/AIDS and STI’s from GRIYA ASA, training on Waria (Transsexuals) from GRAHA MITRA, training on Street Children from SETARA; planning and facilitating HIV/AIDS sessions to four classes in and local school in Semarang, also to two classes in the Marine school, and one class in the University of Semarang. We also broke new ground by being able to do condom demonstrations to the Marine school and the University.

We also did outreach with street sex workers and the Waria (Transsexuals). We performed two short plays that we created in front of hundreds of school children for World Aids day, and being part of the World Aids Day activities whereby nearly 4000 people joined together to make a human AIDS Ribbon, breaking the previous Indonesian record...and finally, we made a banner for World Aids Day, celebrating volunteer’s action.

The management of the workcamp was excellent. Sony and Ruth did their best to keep everything on track, things did get changed but this was due to local bureaucracy and the weather, totally beyond the camp leaders’ control. Sony made sure we had a packed schedule, which was brilliant as it kept us from being homesick.

The domestic arrangements at the camp were changed just before we all arrived through bureaucracy, but Sony managed to get us traditional, basic Indonesian style accommodation with a family near the PKBI office. This was an amazing cultural experience, and we were allowed to use the showers at the PKBI office to which was directly over the road from our hosts’ house.

The organisation of the camp community was fantastic! The group was great and we bonded quickly, language was always going to be a tricky one, but everyone attempted English and Indonesian so it made the whole experience fun and educational.

The accommodation was very Indonesian and very basic – we had the use of three sleeping areas in the host family’s house. The food was mainly Indonesian, but this was by choice as we all wanted to learn how to cook real Indonesian food. We divided into cooking and cleaning teams to share the workload. We also had the opportunity to eat out also and try more local cuisine.

The links with the community were great as we all made every effort to become immersed in local life. We did this through the projects we worked with, the schools we presented in, and just hanging out with locals at the ‘Warung’ for iced teas, and playing football with the children living in the Prostitution Complex, and local boys near our base camp.

Thank you to VAP for enabling me to take part in such an awesome camp, and enabling me to have such a great experience. But the biggest thanks to Sony and Ruth and to my camp buddies for being the most excellent group I could have asked for. Also the local agencies were great and all the local people and children.

I advised anyone to go to this camp, Semarang is a great city and the people are so friendly and the experience was fantastic.

Kirstin D. from Thirsk

member of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Volunteer International Network Exchange UK
with the support of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the European «Youth in Action» Programme

Quote of the day

« The outside world did not interfere, because it seemed so distant, and so we spent our spare time getting to know each other and learning about each other countries', languages and cultures. Everyone was completely relaxed. This simply would not have been possible on any other type of holiday. VAP enabled me to have a truly memorable experience. »

Ivan W. from London

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